Expats bring a different perspective to political debate

your say July 15, 2015 01:00

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Vint Chavala's irritation at foreigners commenting on Thai politics is entirely understandable, but he needs to realise that most of us who offer our opinions, whether they are in line with his or not, do so because we take an interest in current affairs



I’m sure he is right to claim that many of us have an imperfect understanding of the issues on which we comment, and of the subtleties of Thai culture and social values. But against that we bring a different perspective to the political debate here, such as it is since the latest coup. And, in any case, open debate, even if flawed, is better than placing more unnecessary restrictions on freedom of speech.
As regards his claim that foreigners often comment on how uneducated Thai people are, well, it’s not just foreigners – this very claim was a central theme of the rhetoric emanating from the stages of both the PAD and the PDRC, who ritually caricatured the millions of their fellow countrymen who insisted on voting for the “wrong” party as ignorant rural buffalo.
Vint Chavala is clearly a patriotic Thai, and his fondness for his native land is shared by many farang living here. I do hope he will bear that in mind when he reads more of our offerings in the Letters column.
Robin Grant